There’s nothing quite like getting a new tattoo. The designs you’ve been staring at for months have finally become a reality, and you can’t wait to admire and show off your latest ink. But how do you make sure your latest tattoo heals and looks as it should as quickly as possible? Well, most importantly, your tattoo artist knows best. Follow their advice, listen to what your skin is telling you and always ask if you’re unsure. To help with the basics, scroll to check out our five top tips for tattoo aftercare.
Aftercare starts as soon as your tattoo is done. The artist should apply a thin layer of petroleum ointment over the tattoo, and then cover the area in a bandage or plastic wrap. This covering prevents bacteria from getting into your skin. It also protects the tattoo from rubbing on your clothes and getting irritated.Keep the dressing on for a few hours. It will help absorb any fluid or excess ink that leaks from the tattoo. After a few hours, you can remove the bandage. Wash your hands first with lukewarm water and soap. Then gently wash the tattoo with fragrance-free soap and water. Pat your skin dry with a soft cloth. Apply a small amount of petroleum ointment to the tattoo. You can keep the bandage off at this point to let your skin breathe.
For the first day or two, use a petroleum-based ointment like A&D or Aquaphor to help the tattoo heal. Cosmetic grade petroleum jelly is non-comedogenic, which means it won’t clog your pores and cause infection. But just apply a thin layer. Putting on too thick of a layer won’t allow your skin to breathe.
Polynesian people have long used coconut oil on their tattoos. They apply it after the tattoo heals to make the design shine. Some websites claim that coconut oil keeps the skin under your tattoo moist and protects against infection. Yet there’s no scientific evidence that it works. Check with your doctor before putting coconut oil or any other unproven products on your tattoo.